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Comment Re:Why not use the real finger? (Score 1) 97

  • They have some indication other than the whole body, like a large pool of blood or video footage of the murder that doesn't show enough detail to identify the murderer, that the phone's owner has been killed.
  • The phone was not found until after the victim's body was buried or cremated, and even if it was buried it has been long enough that decomposition would prevent the actual finger from working.
  • The police have the body, but the fingers were mutilated beyond the capability of the fingerprint sensor to recognize (say the victim was run down and their hands were crushed under the wheels of the car that struck them.) An extreme version of this would be if the victim was killed by an explosion like an IED.
  • The murderer removed the hands and teeth of the victim to make identification of the body more difficult.

Comment Re:Contact Google? (Score 1) 465

Hire a lawyer to write a (polite but firm) letter requesting that someone at Google contact his client regarding the loss of some of his intellectual property stored by Google. Have the lawyer's office (with its return address) mail it (postal mail) to Google HQ, attention: legal department. If you want, send a carbon copy to your local TV station's "human interest" department -- "years of a local artist's work destroyed by cold, corporate monolith Google" is exactly the kind of story they eat up, and a news crew calling Google's PR department for a comment may get the right attention even if Google Legal doesn't respond.

Comment What rating would the candidate give this one? (Score 1) 208

What rating would the prime minister candidate give this website? How about if the company that provides ads to be displayed on that page accidentally or "accidentally" slipped an ad for a pornographic website into the list of ads to be displayed? Would that change the candidate's rating? How about if a random commenter had posted a section of an ultraviolent story filled with graphic depiction of torture, murder, and cannibalism?

Tell you what, Ms. Leadsom. I'll name a website, and if you can rate all the pages on it for the next seven days and have the general population agree with 50% of your ratings at the end of the week, let's go ahead with your plan. I name the website Reddit, including all its subreddits. Your time starts now. Good luck, and may whatever deities you believe in (if any) have mercy on your soul (if you have one.)

Comment Re:That's just great... (Score 2) 378

Doesn't it? Consider something like DES. If you had a file on your system encrypted with DES:

In 1977, Diffie and Hellman proposed a machine costing an estimated US$20 million which could find a DES key in a single day. By 1993, Wiener had proposed a key-search machine costing US$1 million which would find a key within 7 hours.

and:

One of the more interesting aspects of COPACOBANA [a DES cracking machine] is its cost factor. One machine can be built for approximately $10,000.[26] The cost decrease by roughly a factor of 25 over the EFF machine is an example of the continuous improvement of digital hardware—see Moore's law. Adjusting for inflation over 8 years yields an even higher improvement of about 30x.

DES hasn't changed, but the amount of computational power attackers can bring to bear has.

Or to put it a different way: archers manning a castle's walls were a decent defense against melee soldiers ... but they'll do nothing but die when a bomber drops its weaponry inside the walls.

Comment Re:Goofy Dorks. (Score 2) 254

How about sports?

Do we really need to pay people millions of dollars to hit a ball with a stick and run around in a big circle?
Throwing a ball into a basket with the bottom cut out?
Slamming into one another like rutting walruses trying to pound one guy carrying a ball into the turf?
Kicking a ball then chasing madly after said ball, with the occasional (bad) performance of "He touched me, I am slain!" ?
Or smacking a small white ball then walking towards where you hit said small white ball and repeating the process? Just pick the damn thing up and carry it with you!

Comment Re:Pardon for what? (Score 2) 383

Having a degree does not necessarily mean you're an expert in all matters. For instance, someone with a PhD in aerospace engineering (a true rocket scientist) is not necessarily someone I'd want performing my appendectomy. Maybe if it was Dr. Buckaroo Banzai performing the procedure I would, but he's a bit of a special case.

Comment Re:Waste of time (Score 1) 321

Remember the story of the handyman's bill. I have no doubt that most people could enter that command. It might take them a minute or two to hunt-and-peck but they are capable of typing it. That's the $1 piece of the puzzle.

Knowing that one way to obtain the software to download Youtube videos is to enter that command, that's another story entirely -- that's the $9,999 piece.

Comment Re:undermining the Tor system (Score 1) 323

That's not quite sufficient. Take Weird Al's advice and:

Turn off your computer and make sure it powers down
Drop it in a forty-three-foot hole in the ground
Bury it completely, rocks and boulders should be fine
Then burn all the clothes you may have worn any time you were online!

Do it now "before it emails your grandmother all of your porn."

Comment Re:It will have VR headset. (Score 1) 88

I think the appeal of VR is extremely limited. How often do you see people riding a bus or a train while playing a game on their phone, or to a lesser extent, on a portable console? Those same people aren't going to strap a contraption on their face and be ignorant to the outside world just to play a game.

Are you sure about that? Seems to me people who are so inattentive to the outside world because they're glued to their smart phones that they need traffic lights in the sidewalk to keep them from wandering into traffic and getting killed might as well take the next step and strap something on their faces to make it clear to everyone that they're not paying attention to what's going on around them.

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